Friday, November 14, 2008
So Long Swagger
Well, it was a fun idea while it lasted, but it looks like Nick Swisher and his incredibly friendly contract are headed for a different monochromatic ballclub.
Kanekoa Texeira (I was so excited when I thought I saw Konerko and Texeira mentioned in the same sentence as the word "trade")
The initial reaction I have is "damn it, we got fleeced." I think that Swisher is absolutely going to rebound from last season - Walker said something about there being a glitch in his swing that would take a whole offseason to work out of his system. If it would take Walker a whole offseason, you've got to figure that a competent hitting coach could probably fix it in less than a month. Likewise, Texeira pitched well in the minors, and has a good change to come up as a reliever, or maybe even get stretched out as a starter.
In return? We get Betemit, who is Swisher Lite. Betemit is a switch hitter and a utility infielder, but is much much cheaper than Swisher - and his career stats are on par with Swisher's worst season. In addition to Betemit, we get Marquez and Nunez, two unproven players in the minors. Marquez is already 23 and looks like he'll have a shot at being Nick Massett part deux (long relief, spot starter). Nunez, though, looks to be much more interesting, with a greater propensity for keeping the ball on the ground and not sucking.
Any way that you look at it, this deal means:
#1. The Sox want to free up some money. This is not surprising - money is nice to have. It may also pave the way for a FA signing this winter that may cost a little more than Jerry and Co. would like to spend, or maybe just to save some money. Who knows - maybe we could get some more of our guys under contract.
#2. Something was wrong with Swisher. This actually seems pretty likely the more I think about it. Swisher was in Ozzie's doghouse for the second half of the season (benched in the ALCS says something, doesn't it?). Even if it's not something between Oz and Swish, I still get the impression that it's an organizational difficulty of some sort. Maybe Swish was on 'roids? I hate to say it because I like the guy. I know Jerry and Kenny don't like to have users on their team, and maybe the writing was on the wall. I suppose only next season's stats will tell.
Stay tuned for more exciting off-season baseball!